Taking Steps to Make Our Finances Fabulous, One Day at a Time
Hello, and welcome! I’m a wife, homeschooling mom to nine children, and child of God. I love to talk about faith, finances, and of course, all things home and family.
Welcome to my blog! Thank you so much for stopping by!
While we are working on our finances, organization is so important. By making a budget and sticking to it as best as I could, our financial picture began to turn around.
The same can be said about our lives in general. When we are organized, stuff gets done!
I thought it would be fun to share this daily to-do planner printable with you guys. It can be used to plan out your day in so many ways. Use it for your finances, job tasks, or family obligations. It can even be used as a chore chart for your kiddos.
Feel free to print this sheet as often as you would like, and share it with your friends. It would also work wonderfully in a binder.
Daily, I try to look at all of our financial accounts and think of actionable steps I can take to grow my small business. Actionable steps are key. Sure, I would like to sell a certain amount of items each day, but what can I do to get there? This printable can help you to break your goals down into daily bite-size pieces.
So, you want to get out of debt and give your family a brighter future.
Congratulations! That’s fantastic!
Realizing that changes need to be made in your financial picture is the first step towards freedom. Unfortunately, now is also the time that many people think, “I’d love to do that, but there is just no way!”
I know this feeling quite well. I’ve been there. I remember when I thought there was no possible way to do anything any differently when my husband brought up trying to pay off debt 12 years ago. And I was right. If I was caught up in living like the Jones’ (and I was), then there wasn’t any hope when it came to paying off debt.
After a lot of patience on his part, I started to think that things could be different in 2016. I learned about the Dave Ramsey plan, and started applying it. Now, we are “Dave-ish,” and don’t follow his program to a T. We have worked on creating our own “program” which works for us.
Early on in our journey, I learned that an emergency fund was so important. If an emergency fund isn’t in place, then you are likely to go right back into debt when a big need arises.
An emergency fund gives us wives and mamas a sense of security. It honestly helps me sleep better at night. Sure, I could claim to “depend on God” when we didn’t have savings due to spending money unwisely, but it is so much better to actually be a good steward of the money He has given us. This year the income I personally make from my Etsy shop has decreased tenfold. I make outfits for special occasions, and a lot of those have been cancelled this year. Our emergency fund has definitely helped my peace of mind.
Sometimes sacrifices need to be made in order to get your emergency fund started. Sell items around the house on eBay. Cut back your grocery budget. Ask your husband to pick up extra shifts at work if he can. Little by little, treat savings as a “bill” that you have to pay to yourself.
Before you know it, your fund will begin to build!
The amount of money that you need to have in your emergency fund will vary depending on your circumstances. It should be a safety net that would be able to cover most emergency needs when they arrive. I personally don’t believe $1,000 is enough. When deciding what to initially save, take into account things like insurance deductibles, medical needs, and the age of your home and car.
Your emergency fund needs to be in a separate account that you do not have access to. Seriously, pretty much forget it isn’t there if you are tempted to spend it.
And then if you need it, it will be there!
Our emergency fund has fluctuated depending on our needs. When we didn’t have a mortgage payment to worry about, it was lower than it is today.
I’d love to encourage you to take a small step towards saving today. It can be such a blessing to your husband to take an interest in your family’s finances. You can do it, ladies!
While paying off our consumer debt and cabin, using a debt tracker was so helpful to me. I loved the visual reminder to pay off the debt. It was very motivating!
That being said, I decided that I wanted to start using a savings tracker, and so I designed a couple of trackers to share with all of you. I hope that you use these free resources to crush some goals!
Using these trackers are simple. There are 50 dollar signs for you to color or fill in as you please. Divide your debt or savings goal by 50, and write that number in at the top of the sheet. For example, if your goal is to pay off $1,000 worth of debt, color in a dollar sign for every $20 you pay off. Before long, you will have a super fun visual reminder of your progress. Post it on a wall, on the refrigerator, or anywhere you’d like!
Getting out of debt and building wealth takes time. Don’t get discouraged and celebrate small wins along the way.
We have been on our debt free journey for close to five years now. Sometimes I’ve gotten so discouraged about the time it has taken to reach our goals.
Can anyone else relate? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could push a button and all of our problems be solved?
Fortunately for us, life doesn’t work that way. When we dedicate ourselves to working on a goal like debt and financial freedom, the small tasks we do to get there create habits that can last a lifetime.
We need these habits to continue on! Whether it be paying down debt consistently, paying yourself first, or saying no to extras for a time. Once we’ve worked on our “habit muscles,” we’ve done what we need to do to see our goals come to fruition.
Sometimes this is hard for me since I’m far from being the main breadwinner in our family. But that’s okay. Being a stay at home mom for my kiddos is my calling! When I get discouraged, I try to think of the small, actionable steps I can take to help my family’s finances.
At the end of 2019, I wasn’t sure if we would ever have a mortgage again. But here we are, almost one year in. I do not care for it at all.
But we weighed our options and here we are. I still believe we made the right choice in purchasing this home. Mortgages just kind of stink, though.
We spent the last year working on renovations and not worrying about putting extra on the mortgage. The time has come to do something about it.
While we aren’t sure that this is our forever home, we want to at least pay it down as we would a 15 year mortgage until we decide what we would like to do long term. (It currently is on a 30 year term). This small step would make me feel a little bit better about it.
We are also hoping to boost our savings, and if say, four years down the road we feel like we will be here for awhile, then we will throw a big chunk at the mortgage.
But for now, I’m aiming for $500-600 extra each month. That seems doable.
The interest rate sits at 3.375%, and after running numbers I don’t think it would be worth our while to refinance after taking closing costs into account.
So cheers to making a small step in the right direction!
Hey friends, it’s been awhile! Life has been crazy since early 2020, as I’m sure you are well aware. I thought I’d pop in to give you guys a life and financial update since we paid off our cabin in late 2019.
Ah, paying off our cabin was amazing. We felt so free! But after the pandemic hit and a realization that we were not able to be as self sufficient as we had hoped to be there, we purchased another home in May 2020. It was a fixer upper on five acres, and was basically the cheapest thing on the market that fit what we were looking for.
We started to pour money into renovations, and unfortunately we are not finished yet. It is a bummer to have a mortgage, but at least it has a low interest rate. We are are slowing down for the time being with upgrades for now though, because we need to begin saving more again. This is so very important for me.
In the past year we have started (and fully funded) a car fund, which is much needed. I hope our van holds on for a little while longer though. We’ve owned it for nearly ten years and it has nearly 220,000 miles on it. It has been absolutely excellent for our family. I hate spending money on depreciating items, so hopefully it will hold on for at least another year!
We are also still holding onto our cabin as an asset. We love it, and the value has skyrocketed! Our neighbor’s home is under contract for $400,000 (after one day on the market), and we purchased our home for $200,000 nearly two years ago. We are very pleased with this investment.
I’ve also challenged myself to put all profits from my Etsy shop into ETFs for the next few months. I did this last month, and it’s been fun to see the account grow. I am using an Ally Invest account for this purpose, and am sticking with ETFs that track the S & P 500.
Although I am by no means the breadwinner in our family, I love seeing what I can do to help the family’s finances by budgeting, being frugal, contributing to our financial discussion, learning about investments, and investing what I can outside of my husband’s 401k and IRA. I hope that we are changing our family tree and will be able to wildly give to others one day.
Thanks for stopping by today. Hopefully I will share more here soon.
Guys, I can hardly believe it. On December 19, 2019, we paid off our house!
We weren’t planning on being this gazelle. But after our mortgage company started giving us a hard time about making additional payments in November, we knew we just wanted to be done. Also, after having our new baby earlier in the month, I was totally over all of the overtime my husband was working. I wanted him to be home more often, but he was committed to working long hours until our home was paid off.
So we cashed out some investments. We used my husband’s entire bonus. And we nearly drained our emergency fund. After doing this we were able to pay off the mortgage several months sooner than anticipated.
It feels so surreal. We are taking a minute to breathe before deciding our next steps. Building up our savings account again is crucial, so that comes first. After that, I don’t know what goal should come next. We want to start a car fund since both of our vehicles have over 200,000 miles. We also want to save for a house upgrade or land. We were able to pay off our current home relatively quickly since we downsized twice during the last three years. My dream is to one day live in a home similar to the one we left in 2017, but this time without a mountain of debt. I do not want to be house poor ever again!
The peace financial freedom brings is much better than feeling poor while living in a large home. We are not financially free yet, but I know paying off our current home is a huge step in the right direction. We are so grateful and thankful to be done with this mortgage!
June is coming to a close, and so is our monthly mortgage paydown. We closed on our new cabin on May 31st, and this month I’ve solely been focused on paying it down as quickly as possible. Interest at the beginning of loans is killer! Our South Carolina home is on the market and we are praying that it might sell before too long.
We purchased our cabin for $200,000. After putting 5% down, our loan was for $190,000. We are now sitting at $184,980.
Looking at our amortization schedule, we have paid the equivalent of 20 payments! If we had made the first payment only, our balance would have gone down only $240 or so.
I’m going to be on attack mode to skip as much interest as possible. Once our previous home sells, we should be sitting in a nice spot.
This kind of paydown has been made possible with the Lord’s help and lots of saying “no.” We have been on this debt-free journey for around 2.5 years now, and it has been so worth it.
Oh my goodness, y’all. This little blog has been super quiet the past month for two reasons. We are expecting our ninth child and we are moving!
The decision to move was not an easy one, especially since I have been so laser focused about paying off our mortgage. I really wanted to see what we started come to fruition. I wanted to see this house paid off! But when I became pregnant I knew that moving back home really was more important than anything else. I fought my crazy feelings for awhile, but my husband, being so kind and wonderful, did what he could to find a job back in Georgia. Everything has fallen into place very quickly!
We moved to South Carolina to help boost our finances with a higher paying job and a downgrade in house. I am super pleased with our progress.
I’m not 100% sure what our future holds financially, but I’m trusting in God to lead us along. We are closing on a mountain cabin this week which has always been a dream of mine. This is house downgrade number two for us. Once we are in the cabin our house in South Carolina is going on the market.
Our options are as follows…we could either take the equity from our home once it sells and almost pay the cabin off, or, we could put a chunk on the cabin, recast the mortgage and turn it into a rental while putting another chunk down on a slightly bigger more permanent home. We will know once we get in there, i.e. how it feels and if we fit, and believe me there is almost nothing I would like more than a paid off mortgage!
I hope to share updates here on a more regular basis soon. For now, please follow along with me on Instagram. This week is full of packing, purging, and painting. We pick up our Uhaul truck tomorrow!